Dental offices given the go-ahead to reopen in five regions

Governor Cuomo today announced that five upstate regions – Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier – are entering Phase II of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Phase II includes all professional services.  Dentistry is not excluded from being a professional service and has, along with medicine, always been defined as such. 

Guidelines issued for professional services offices note that medical and dental offices must adhere to their own guidelines, which would include adherence to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, as well as the American Dental Association dental office reopening guidelines. 

If and when the New York State Department of Health issues any of its own dental office guidelines separate from the CDC and OSHA, those too must be followed. However, given statements made over time by the Department of Health and the Empire State Development Corporation, there is no reason to assume that dentistry is being delayed past Phase II for fully reopening in the five upstate regions, with additional reopenings expected in other regions as they too commence Phase II operations.  

For all dentists reopening and those preparing to reopen in the near future, we recommend reviewing the “Return to Work Guidance” on for help implementing your COVID-19 office procedures. It focuses on the short-term management of dental practices as they begin providing non-emergent care.
NYSDA continues to diligently represent and advocate on the behalf of New York’s dentists with the goal of achieving a statewide opening. As mentioned above, those currently in Phase II can open.

Thank you for your continuing support and participation, and for your valued membership. It makes a difference.

View reopening toolkit